Public Hearing Brings Out Opponents of Bus Fare Increases

Of the thirty people who attended a public hearing for Rockland Transport fare hikes, fifteen spoke, many of them declaring that the state of the buses and quality of the service does not entitle more money to be given. Many stated that TOR buses especially are more often than not late, dirty, and unreliable. The fares are set to go up by 50-150 percent on June 1, which many agreed will be a mistake, leading to the possibility of a loss in riders, especially on the TRIPS buses where seniors and customers with disabilities are going to be paying 150 percent more for a book of ten tickets. One man, a frequent rider of TRIPS stated that he understands the need for a raise in fares, but it should happen over time. Susan Cerra, Rockland’s Transit Administrator, stated that this is the first time since 2011 the county is raising prices, doing so to make up for a loss in revenue since 2006. According to Cerra TRIPS costs $43.00 per ride to operate and to make up for the extra services the county provides by choice, not by legal requirement, they must charge more. Rockland Public Transportation Commissioner Thomas Vanderbeek stated that he will make a decision on whether or not to approve the fare increases by May 15.

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